It’s a question that SEO professionals are asked all the time: “How long will it take for my website to rank in Google?” Unfortunately, no one can honestly give you a simple, definite answer as the amount of time it takes differs depending on various factors.
However, what we know for sure is that it’s best to view SEO as a long-term marketing strategy if you want to produce significant results. While SEO requires some investment, the good news is that it’s also an evergreen process, so the work you put in today can continue to pay off months or even years down the road.
In this article, we explore how long it takes, on average, for SEO to work and the amount of time you should spend improving your SEO to give you the best chance of seeing a solid return on your investment.
And as a bonus, we also look at some best practices to ensure you start seeing improvements in your site’s rankings as soon as possible. Let’s get started.
Why is SEO a long-term investment?
While some quick fixes can improve your website’s visibility in the short term, such as buying ads or paying for sponsored posts, these generally only provide temporary results. For lasting success, it’s best to invest in long-term SEO strategies.
To understand why this is, you need to consider how Google’s ranking algorithm works. Google’s ranking algorithm is constantly evolving, so what works today might not work tomorrow. As a result, SEO is an ongoing process that requires regular investment and attention.
Another reason SEO is a long-term investment is because it can take time for your efforts to start paying off. This is because it takes time for Google to index and crawl your website, which is necessary for your content to rank in the search results.
It’s also important to keep content updated and relevant over time as this helps you maintain and build upon any gains you’ve made from your SEO efforts.
How long does it take to work?
As we mentioned before, the answer isn’t straightforward as it differs depending on various factors. However, based on what we, and many other SEO professionals, have seen, we can provide a general idea of how long it usually takes to start seeing results.
In general, it’s best to expect that it will take at least 3–6 months to start seeing results from your SEO efforts. However, it’s important to remember that this is just a general guideline.
For example, suppose you just launched a brand new website and are trying to rank for some competitive keywords. In that case, it will take longer than if you already have a well-established site and are targeting less competitive keywords.
At Harper Digital, we offer SEO packages starting from 6 months as we find this is a reasonable time to achieve results in most cases. However, our 12-month package provides even more bang for your buck and gives you the best chance of seeing a solid return on your investment.
How much time should you spend on SEO?
As we mentioned, SEO is an ongoing process, so you need to invest time and effort into it regularly to see results. How much time you should spend on SEO each week depends on various factors, such as:
The larger your website, the more time you’ll need to spend on SEO. This is because you’ll need to create more content and optimise more pages.
The goals you have for your website also impact how much time you need to spend on SEO. For example, if you’re just trying to rank for a few keywords, you won’t need to spend as much time on SEO as you do if you’re trying to rank for a large number of keywords.
If you’re in a highly competitive industry, you’ll need to spend more time on SEO than if you’re in a less competitive industry.
Your budget also impacts how much time you spend on SEO. If you have a large budget, you can hire more people to do the work for you and target more keywords than if you have a smaller budget.
At Harper Digital, we tailor our SEO packages to meet your specific goals, website size, and budget to ensure you get the most effective and efficient SEO possible. If this sounds interesting, you can contact us to book a free 30-minute SEO strategy session.
Why does SEO bring no guarantees?
Be wary of those guaranteeing first-place rankings for all your favoured keywords. No one can truthfully make such a guarantee as it’s impossible to control Google’s ever-changing algorithms, and no one can determine how much effort your competitors will put into targeting those same keywords.
An honest and transparent SEO company should be able to give you a general idea of the results you can expect and how long it will take to achieve them. However, they should never guarantee specific first-place rankings as this is simply unrealistic.
How can SEO be done right to speed up results?
Finally, here are some important tips to help you get the most out of your SEO efforts. If they’re not part of your SEO strategy, then your efforts have a good chance of being less effective than they could be.
- Understand your audience and industry
- Master keyword research
- Make sure your site is mobile friendly
- Remember that quality content is king
- Ensure your site is fast and responsive
- Attain links from high-quality authority sites in your niche
- Get your content shared on social networks
- Track your site’s analytics and campaign results
The bottom line
If you want significant results, you’ll need to view SEO as a long-term marketing strategy. At Harper Digital, we offer SEO packages starting from 6 months to meet your specific objectives, website size, and budget. We’ll give you the best chance of seeing a solid return on your investment.